Skip to main content

Commencement Schedule

We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2022 at Commencement on May 22, the first official in-person ceremony in three years. In addition, we’re thrilled to welcome back to campus members of the Class of 2020 to participate in the ceremony, after having had their Commencement canceled due to the pandemic..

The ceremony will stream here on this website and on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/swarthmore.

Friday, May 20

10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Senior Brunch 
(for graduating class only)
405 Elm Avenue, Swarthmore
(Severe weather location: Sharples Dining Hall)
Reception hosted by Jim Terhune, Vice President for Student Affairs.

2 p.m. Commencement Rehearsal
(required for seniors)
Mertz Lawn

7:30 p.m. Some Academic Department Receptions
Various locations (consult your department)
Gatherings for seniors and their families.

8 p.m. Last Collection with Candle-lighting Ceremony
Scott Outdoor Amphitheater
This tradition includes a talk by a faculty member and a student chosen by the senior class. 

Saturday, May 21

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Baccalaureate Brunch 
(open to all seniors and guests)
Sharples Dining Hall 
Complimentary buffet meal. 

2:45 p.m. Baccalaureate procession forms
Wearing caps and gowns, seniors line up in front of Parrish.

3 p.m. Baccalaureate 
(no tickets required; all are welcome)
Scott Outdoor Amphitheater
Baccalaureate is intended to touch upon the moral and spiritual roots of the educational process and encourage commitment to a more just world. The ceremony includes a speaker, several moments of silence in observance of our Quaker tradition, and an inspirational reading.

4 – 7:30 p.m. Some Academic Department Receptions
Various locations (consult your department)
Gatherings for seniors and their families.

9:15 p.m. Fireworks
Cunningham Fields

Sunday, May 22

7:30 9:30 a.m. Senior Breakfast 
Sharples Dining Hall
Complimentary breakfast open to all seniors and guests.

8 a.m. 1 p.m. Information Tent 
Magill Walk

8:15 – 9:30 a.m. Rose Selection 
Dean Bond Rose Garden    
A Swarthmore tradition where Arboretum staff members assist seniors in selecting roses to wear on their gowns.  

8:30 a.m. Commencement locations open for seating
(no tickets are required)
Mertz Lawn;  additional seating in the LPAC and the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall.
Please note that seats fill quickly.  Luggage is prohibited.  Only service animals are permitted.
LPAC and the Scheuer Room, a family-friendly location, offer excellent alternatives to seating on Mertz Lawn in the case of overcrowding, inclement weather, or excessive heat, or to better accommodate guests with special needs.  We strongly encourage the use of these air-conditioned venues.  Simultaneous telecasts are in high definition.  

9:30 a.m. Commencement Procession Forms
Line up in pairs near Trotter Tent
Seniors wear caps and gowns

10 a.m. Commencement Ceremony 
(no tickets are required)
Mertz Lawn;  additional seating in the LPAC and the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall.
The ceremony will take place on Mertz Lawn, rain or shine.  Bring rain gear in case of inclement weather. Sunscreen and a bottle of water are recommended. In the case of severe weather (e.g. lightning or strong wind gusts), we may decide to delay the ceremony.  Every effort will be made to hold the celebration on Mertz Lawn.  Please note that seats fill quickly.  Luggage is prohibited.  Only service animals are permitted.  Seating may be prearranged for people with special needs; please contact ssmythe1@swarthmore.edu for details. 

Restrooms will be located by Old Tarble and the Worth Health Center buildings.

The ceremony will be livestreamed in three languages at indoor, air conditioned locations across campus, including the Lang Performing Arts Center and the Scheuer Room inside Kohlberg Hall (English), Science Center 101 (Spanish), and Science Center 99 (Mandarin).

Commencement Reception
Following Commencement, all are welcome to enjoy light refreshments.


Monday, May 23

8 a.m. Residence halls close